For hundreds of years, people in the AIP region (the Afghanistan-Iran-Pakistan borders) have been challenged by conflict and political and civil instability, mass displacement, human rights abuses, drought and famine. Given this sad history, it not surprising that in this region health and quality of life of vulnerable groups are among the worst in the world. In spite of national and international efforts to improve health status of vulnerable populations in this region, the key underlying socio-cultural determinants of health and disparities, i.e. gender, language, ethnicity, residential status, and socio-economic status (SES), have not been addressed or even systematically studied, nor have their relationship to environmental challenges. Overall, the health problems faced by this under-developed region can be categorized into those resulting from lack of essential supplies and services, as well as those stemming from the existing cultural practices in the area.

Author Biography

Iraj M. Poureslami, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Institute of Health Promotion Research, University of British Columbia

David R. MacLean, Institute for Health Education and Research, Simon Fraser University

Jerry Spiegel, Liu Institute for Global Issues, University of British Columbia

Annalee Yassi, Institute of Health Promotion Research, University of British Columbia